Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Jul 20, 2013.
Jul 20, 2013
Guess everyone's entitled to their opinion.
I wonder if he's against sharing good ideas at the copier too? Or with other teachers in general.
Of course, I've only used the "freebies" I've found at TPT.
I do like TPT, but I end up making things most of the time. When I make things for my class I can make different sets to differentiate and fit the language and layout they are familiar with. Also, I'm not in a common core state, so not everything fits for me.
As for cute, I enjoy it and I do think the kids notice. When I put out paper in the writing station, the cute paper is gone long before the plain!
There are some valid points. I have a tpt account, I've only bought 1 thing from thing. I have a store that I just recently started, and I can see my self as more of a seller than a buyer. I do make things specifically with my students in mind. Often I take something I see on pinterest or TPT and make it my own because I didn't find exactly what I had in mind. But that's not to say there aren't great resources out there worth using. I can only hope that my resources will be helpful to other teachers. I don't think it matters so much where you get your resources from whether you make them or buy them or borrow them from a colleague as long as its going to meet the needs of your students.
I think he's entitled to his opinion, as are we all!
I think he might have some misconceptions of how teachers use TPT. I purchase things from there, but I always make sure they meet the needs of my students. I would never just print something off and stick it in a center. I agree with the frustration of documents not being editable, and some of the "cuteness" is a bit overboard IMO.
That was an interesting read; thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading the comments as well. TPT can be a great resource if teachers are being critical. The only time I've purchased something was because I was looking for activities to help my students practice a specific skill. The activity was a little out of my comfort zone, but I gave it a whirl and it totally bombed. Now I do things my own way. Not saying everything on TPT is like that, I'm sure there are great things out there, but I tend to side with Matt Gomez.
I am a creative person, so I don't use TPT because I would at least want to tweak things. I have, though, searched for things and used ideas from TPT to make my own documents.
As to his points:
Students have told me they notice the cutesy. So there! But I don't like a lot of the loopy fonts (poor models for students learning to write) and much of the clipart is attractive, but there is something about it I don't necessarily love. Maybe because those colorful semi-stick children look the same? Not sure. I love clipart in general, though, and use photographs only for more technical purposes. For example, if I type a poem about butterflies I'd use clipart. If I was tesching the cycle of the butterfly I'd likely use photos.
These are key points, though I tend to agree with Matt Gomez.
Unlike Driving Pigeon (I've been following your blog- Love It!- so I see how well you think things through ), and other posters, some teachers may overly rely on the items for a quick fix and not think through how it applies to their students.
I'm not a fan of cutesy either, but to each his own.
This was an interesting read - thanks for posting!
I am sort of addicted to TPT, but I have been learning that a lot of times, I will like it better if I made it myself. Last night, I bought a pack of classroom library labels to "save time." I then realized that I just didn't like how the categories were worded, so I ended up making my own. Maybe I am just OCD.
As for not being able to use things from year to year, I do have a curriculum and standards I am mandated to teach. My kids are going to learn the long vowel patterns every year. I know groups are different, but I think it's a little crazy to assume that things can't be used with more than one class.
One thing that bothers me with the TPT/blog/Pinterest culture (don't get me wrong, I love all three - ESPECIALLY Pinterest) is the emphasis on CUTE. Oh my gosh. I cannot create those adorable anchor charts/center activities/worksheets. I just can't. I've tried. I make stuff that is functional and looks pretty good, but it does not usually contain adorable panda clipart or something. Some of these blogs just OVERWHELM me...how do they have time for it all!?!?
Jul 21, 2013
I think Matt is a grouch. As educators, we all pick and choose from a variety of resources to meet student needs.
Nothing frustrates me so much as to check blog updates and they are all-"buy what I made on TPT-it's so cute!".
I'll admit, I have never liked the concept of TPT myself. I don't like that it's teachers pay teachers, but TPT also gets a percentage. I also agree with the blogger's points. I am definitely not a fan of cute just for cute's sake. But I'm not a big fan of worksheet-driven activities (even stations) or pre-made things where the kids just cut and paste either. So I haven't found many things on there that I can actually use anyway-without changing some things, which you can't do. It amazes me too how many teachers make spelling mistakes. That I would definitely want to change before I used it.
I like TPT, but I think the points he makes are valid. I stay away from the stuff that is too cutesy myself, but that's mainly because I teach older grades and the cutesy stuff can be too cheesy for my tastes. I do agree that a lot of the activities are created with a specific group of kids in mind and that it is frustrating that you can't make alterations after you download the items, due to them being PDFs.
But overall TPT is a great resource and if there are items that don't fit the needs you have for your class, it's as simple as not downloading those items. I will admit that I have almost downloaded things but they weren't exactly what I needed for whatever reason, so I ended up just using the ideas as inspiration to create my own.
After reading his post, I thought about my own classroom, and reflected upon how much "cute" clipart I have up. There is some Thistle Girl clipart on my Daily 5 I-Charts, and CAFE board headers, but that's it. So, I guess I tend to stay away from a lot of cute, as well. My classroom is color-coordinated, which I think makes for a more calming, less-distracting environment. I also don't see anything wrong with doing a theme. However, I have seen some teachers go a bit overboard IMO. To each their own!
I don't make (or buy, which is what I do more of) much cutesy stuff. I sometimes use the stick figures - and i have purchased some (New Orleans Saints, what else?) football players & such to use in my classroom. Oh, and i used Mardi Gras clipart when I made my Mardi Gras math & CVC intervention games. Most of my stuff, though, is forms for the teacher (at least so far).
Cute sells...the top sellers know that...use what works for you and de- cute and ignore what doesn't work for you...don't slam teachers for capitalizing on creativity...
Aren't most of the teachers who make things to sell buying the clip art and fonts? Most of them don't make it themselves, right?
What are you saying? Those who create content related resources may be buying others clip art...that's all good in my book...I'm all about supporting each others efforts...it's any consumers choice to buy or not buy...simple economic principles at work...supply and demand...choose what works for you but don't denigrate those who have different needs and make different choices.
You said I was slamming them for capitalizing on their creativity--I'm saying I'm not sure it's really that creative. If you are buying the clip art and fonts already made (which it's my understanding due to copyright issues you have to either make them yourself or buy them) and then use them to make a worksheet of problem solving problems to sell...is that really that creative? I could be wrong, but a lot of what I see on there are different versions of the same thing.
I don't think anyone is "denigrating" anyone else's choices. Just saying maybe TPT is not perfect. Of course, if people want to buy/sell there, it's completely their choice-but the article was voicing an opinion and I was voicing mine.
Using clip art is supporting someone else's creativity. Applying that to your implementation and 'beautifying' of such application of core content is creative use...buy or don't buy..do or don't buy...it's your choice...use TPT, make your own, or rely on other packaged product..do what's right for your students.
Yes, using clipart and fonts is most certainly creativity. Absolutely. Graphic design is creativity, and something many people struggle with.
It does bother me as well when people seem to be using their blogs MAINLY as a platform to sell their TPT products. I can see doing it sometimes, but not constantly.
TPT gets a HUGE percentage, I believe. I've read about it before, but I can't remember the numbers now...Teacher's Notebook takes a much smaller percentage.
I'm not saying this to be snarky, but I wonder how the sellers come up with the prices. I am actually genuinely curious. How do they determine the prices? There is just SUCH a huge range of prices for similar things, and some stuff is very expensive.
It's economics..supply and demand...there's an average price per page.
I have a premium Seller's account - which wouldn't work for some people - it paid for itself the first month after I purchased it. With that, TPT takes a 15% cut of everything I sell. And I don't have to pay for a domain name, advertising, program the website, etc. I don't call that huge, because most small businesses don't make a profit at all for at least 3 years. You can find out more about that here: https://support.teacherspayteachers.com/Whats-Premium-Seller-membership-c8-a19.html
To learn how most sellers come up with their prices, read this: https://support.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Handbook-c11.html. I'm not saying all sellers abide by the recommendations here - in fact, some are horribly overpriced. But the market (i.e., what consumers will pay) will determine that.
I hope I have come across as informative and not snarky. I do think that, before blanket comments are made, research should be done.
Interesting, thank you!! I have always been curious.
I have gotten some great stuff off of TPT. It can just be overwhelming because there's so much!!
yellowdaisies - I agree, and I purchase MUCH more than I sell . I have found, however, that it pays to be a conscientious shopper on TPT or Teacher's Notebook, just as I am at Walmart, or Shoe Connection, or DSW, etc.
I agree totally with him, except for the "laminating culture part". I rarely buy on TPT, but if I need something that I can't make I will. I don't think teachers would reuse something just because they had it.
There is one teacher in my school that does things because they are "cute". There is no other justification. It drives me CRAZY and her units are disjointed! But most teachers don't do this.
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